The I-mate JAM Review

I-mate JAMReleased in the last quarter of 2004, the I-mate Jam is one of the several products from HTC, Taiwan. HTC is strictly an outsourcing company commissioned by Microsoft to make windows mobile devices. These devices are usually sold by carriers and resellers with different brand names, so the I-mate Jam is also branded as O2 XDA Mini, T-mobile MDA Compact, Dopod 818, Qtek S100, etc.

Full features:
– Brilliant 2.8 inch TFT display with 320×240 pixel resolution;
– Very compact form factor;
– Alloy casing;
– Fast 416MHz Intel XScale processor;
– WM 2003 phone edition OS;
– WAP/ Web browser;
– Email Client support;
– Standard mini-USB sync port;
– 1.3 megapixel camera;
– Bluetooth, Infrared, USB and GPRS connectivity
– SD/MMS memory slot with support for SDIOs;
– 57.4 MB usable RAM, 7.6 MB usable ROM.

Form Factor, display and Keys
Encased in smooth alloy with rounded corners to give it a sleek look
the I-mate Jam is a compact device that just feels good in your palm. This Pocket PC Phone has a brilliant QVGA resolution on a 2.8-inch screen. The 65k colours TFT display also features a touch screen for commands and data input.

Below the screen are four keys (buttons). These are the red and green phone buttons, a Contacts button, and a Calendar button. These four basic buttons are arranged around the square navigational pad and can reconfigured. The directional pad works quite well, and in the center you will find an Enter button.

The Jam has no keypad and so it uses a virtual input panel that includes several options: a keyboard, Phone Pad, transcriber, block and letter recognizer. A stylus is supplied to aid data input.

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OS, Installed Applications and Memory
The I-mate JAM runs on Windows Mobile 2003. This platform includes the standard Windows Mobile applications and utility suite( Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket IE, Pocket messenger, Notes, Tasks, Appointments, Email client, etc) WM2003 supports portrait and landscape display orientations for most applications. This OS also supports compatible third-party applications including older WM 2002 third-party applications and Java midlets.

WM 2003 Pocket IE now supports screen rendering but still lacks multiple windows browsing and a function to save images on web pages. Other browsers like Opera for Windows Mobile, Netfront and Muilti IE can be installed to enhance your browsing experience.

Built-in e-mail client supports POP3 and IMAP4. Downloading of attachments is also possible. Configuration of settings is easy and simple. You can set your device to check for new mails as it suits you: at intervals of 2 minutes, 5 minutes or every hour.

Other programs like Notes, tasks, appointments are available. Tasks, Contacts, Emails and Appointments can be syncronised with Microsoft Outlook on your laptop or PC using ActiveSync program. This program also enables you to browse or explore the phones directories and folders from your PC. You can browse the net on your device if your PC is connected to a LAN by ActiveSync. Conversely, the Jam has an installed application called Wireless Modem that enables you browse the internet on your PC using the device as a modem.

With all these installed applications and third party options, multi-tasking with the Jam is enjoyable because of the fast and powerful 416 Mhz Intel Xscale processor. Though RAM is 57Mb, it is never a problem for running programs if you have installed your applications on a storage card.

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The SD slot on the topside of the phone supports memory cards of up to 2GB and a wide variety of SDIO add-ons or peripherals.

Connectivity
Bluetooth, Infrared and USB connections are seamless with other devices. The device can synchronise with your PC through any of these connections. The standard mini-USB port serves as sync port and charge port. The device charges automatically when connected to a PC through this port.

Multimedia
On the back you will find the 1.3-megapixel camera for still and video recording. Windows Media 10 and Album applications handle most of the media playback functions like audio players for wav,mp3, midi and WMA files and video players for WMV, 3GP, MP4 and AVI files. The audio from the speaker is decent and clear, and stereo headphones are included for better listening experience.

Battery Life
The removable Li-on battery is of decent capacity (1200 mAh) for such a small device, and I found it lasting more than trice as long as my Toshiba 2032 does inspite of the Jam’s powerful 416Mhz processor. It takes 90 mins to fully charge the battery and this power can last for a whole day of reasonable multi-tasking.

Other features/programs
– Games – solitaire and Jaw breaker
– Calculator
– Calender
– Truefax
– Midlet Manager
– SIM Manager
– Backup

Conclusion
Though the phone could do with more RAM and integrated Wi-Fi, the I-mate JAM is an incredible device, and I resorted to staying with this compact form factor for a long time.

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